April 10, 2015

If Taylor Swift Can Prevent a PR Crisis, So Can You.

Crisis communication can be handled by a PR team, but like anything it's better to avoid a crisis if possibleAs a communication major at the University of Delaware, I have endured endless lectures and read countless chapters about the importance of crisis communication. Any public figure, organization, or institution is vulnerable to a “crisis,” whether a serious threat to people or property or a blow to their reputation. Public relations professionals know that the best way to handle crises is to have a plan. This plan helps organizations anticipate crises that may arise, identify a “crisis team” and deliver the right information to the right audiences.

Make no mistake — you should have a plan. But wouldn’t it be better if you could squash the crisis before it even happens?

Well, that’s exactly what Taylor Swift just did. Swift once again proved her PR skills by purchasing URLs before they had a chance to damage her name. A recent article published by the New York Daily Times reported that, on June 1, many new domain suffixes will join the world of .com and .org, including .porn, .adult, and .sucks, and anyone can buy domains ending in these suffixes. Swift beat her cult of haters to the punch and has already scooped up TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult — a brilliant proactive PR move on her part.

If any Joe or Jane Nobody had bought the domains, he or she could’ve used Swift’s name against her to tarnish her image and brand. Swift and her team would have had to deal with inappropriate, fabricated images, slander and other negative content. So she acted swiftly (pardon the pun) and decisively to ensure they would never have to.

As a huge Taylor Swift fan, I’m biased. But I think fellow PR professionals would have to agree with me on this one. Way to go, Taylor!